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Big Papi miffed at early scrutiny

Big Papi miffed at early scrutiny

BOSTON -- The slump that David Ortiz had at the start of 2009 was one of epic proportions. He didn't homer until May 20. In a market like Boston, Ortiz is going to be more scrutinized at the start of this season because of that.

So his 0-for-7 drought against the Yankees in the first two games of 2010 caused his locker to draw a crowd after Tuesday night's 6-4 loss.

Big Papi was not the least bit amused to be questioned about a "slump" after seven at-bats.

"It's not time to worry about that [stuff], not yet," said Ortiz. "Look, dog, I'm not talking."

For a very short period after that, Ortiz did talk, displaying some frustration toward the media.

"There's ... 160 games left," said a near incredulous Ortiz. "[People] are going crazy. What's up with that, man?"

Red Sox manager Terry Francona was asked after the game if he considered sending Mike Lowell up to hit for Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth, when the Yankees brought on lefty Damaso Marte.

"No, no, we're two games into the season," Francona said. "I don't think we need to start doing that. Not because I don't think Mikey can hit. I just think the big picture needs to be remembered."

Even after enduring the worst slump of his career to start 2009, Ortiz proved his ability to bounce back, finishing the season with 28 homers and 99 RBIs.

From June 6 through the end of last season, Ortiz hit 27 homers to lead the American League over that time period.

"Well, if David comes out and hit two home runs tomorrow and goes 4-for-4, he's probably back to hitting .300, so tomorrow's another day," said Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis. "It's only the third game. We'll worry at 100. I'm not worried about him."

Neither is Victor Martinez.

"It's just the second game," said Martinez. "It's not time to be panicking right now."

Did Francona notice anything about Ortiz's at-bats the first two games?

"I thought he was a little bit in between," Francona said. "I don't think two games [is an indicator]. Guys go 0-for-4, then they go 3-for-4, that's not going to make or break a season. It would be nice to get him on track, though. I agree."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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